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Menkes D.B.,University of Auckland | Herxheimer A.,Cochrane Center
International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Alcohol use and antidepressant prescription are prevalent in many countries, but little is known about their combined effects. OBJECTIVE: Having been surprised by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant-treated patients who became prone to pathological intoxication, we examined this association, searching for relevant literature and cases. METHODS: A detailed literature search showed little or no interaction between SSRIs and alcohol in laboratory studies, and inconsistent effects of these drugs in problem drinkers. We collected cases to study from our own and colleagues' practices, regulatory agencies and web-based discussion fora, and considered evidence for interactions according to standard criteria. RESULTS: Pathological intoxication, characterized by unexpected and often gross disinhibition, was identified in 100 of 201 reports that provided enough detail to be evaluated. Memory impairment was prominent in just over half (53/100) of these. Outcomes included serious violence; homicide occurred in 8 cases, including two double and one triple homicide (12 deaths). CONCLUSIONS: Multiple lines of evidence amplify a thus far barely recognized signal of interactions of SSRI and related antidepressants with alcohol. Systematic collection of further data is required to further characterize this syndrome, but in the meantime effective warnings must be introduced to alert prescribers and patients to the serious risk of pathological intoxication during antidepressant treatment. © 2014 - IOS Press and the authors. Source


Ferrante Di Ruffano L.,University of Birmingham | Davenport C.,University of Birmingham | Eisinga A.,Cochrane Center | Hyde C.,University of Exeter | Deeks J.J.,University of Birmingham
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology | Year: 2012

Objective: To estimate the number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published annually that evaluate the impact of diagnostic tests on patient outcomes to gauge the extent of available randomized evidence assessing the effectiveness of diagnostic tests. Study Design and Setting: Relevant RCTs published in 2004-2007 were identified from electronic searches of the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). Two search strategies were developed, one using diagnostic methodological terms and one using test names. Potentially relevant RCTs were identified by screening titles and abstracts. Final inclusion decisions were based on full-text review. A random 10% sample of all citations was independently screened by a second reviewer. Capture-recapture methodology was used to estimate the number of relevant RCTs missed by both searches. Results: One hundred thirty-five relevant RCTs were identified from the 23,888 records retrieved. Interobserver agreement was substantial. Capture-recapture methodology estimated that 148 (95% confidence interval: 140, 160) relevant RCTs were published in the 4-year period, an average of only 37 publications per year. Conclusion: RCTs of diagnostic tests that evaluate patient outcomes are rare. Consequently recommendations on the use of diagnostic tests can rarely be made on the basis of randomized comparisons, lower grade evidence frequently being the best available. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source


Head K.,Cochrane Center | Chong L.Y.,Cochrane Center | Philpott C.,University of East Anglia | Burton M.J.,Cochrane Center | Schilder A.G.M.,University College London
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews | Year: 2016

Background: This review is one of a suite of six Cochrane reviews looking at the primary medical management options for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Chronic rhinosinusitis is a common condition involving inflammation of the lining of the nose and paranasal sinuses. It is characterised by nasal blockage and nasal discharge, facial pressure/pain and loss of sense of smell. The condition can occur with or without nasal polyps. Oral corticosteroids are used to control the inflammatory response and improve symptoms. Objectives: To assess the effects of oral corticosteroids compared with placebo/no intervention or other pharmacological interventions (intranasal corticosteroids, antibiotics, antifungals) for chronic rhinosinusitis. Search methods: The Cochrane ENT Information Specialist searched the ENT Trials Register; Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL 2015, Issue 7); MEDLINE; EMBASE; ClinicalTrials.gov; ICTRP and additional sources for published and unpublished trials. The date of the search was 11 August 2015. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing a short course (up to 21 days) of oral corticosteroids with placebo or no treatment or compared with other pharmacological interventions. Data collection and analysis: We used the standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. Our primary outcomes were disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQL), patient-reported disease severity, and the adverse event of mood or behavioural disturbances. Secondary outcomes included general HRQL, endoscopic nasal polyp score, computerised tomography (CT) scan score and the adverse events of insomnia, gastrointestinal disturbances and osteoporosis. We used GRADE to assess the quality of the evidence for each outcome; this is indicated in italics. Main results: We included eight RCTs (474 randomised participants), which compared oral corticosteroids with placebo or no intervention. All trials only recruited adults with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. All trials reported outcomes at two to three weeks, at the end of the short-course oral steroid treatment period. Three trials additionally reported outcomes at three to six months. Two of these studies prescribed intranasal steroids to patients in both arms of the trial at the end of the oral steroid treatment period. Oral steroids versus placebo or no intervention Disease-specific health-related quality of life was reported by one study. This study reported improved quality of life after treatment (two to three weeks) in the group receiving oral steroids compared with the group who received placebo (standardised mean difference (SMD) -1.24, 95% confidence interval (CI) -1.92 to -0.56, 40 participants, modified RSOM-31), which corresponds to a large effect size. We assessed the evidence to be low quality (we are uncertain about the effect estimate; the true effect may be substantially different from the estimate of the effect). Disease severity as measured by patient-reported symptom scores was reported by two studies, which allowed the four key symptoms used to define chronic rhinosinusitis (nasal blockage, nasal discharge, facial pressure, hyposmia) to be combined into one score. The results at the end of treatment (two to three weeks) showed an improvement in patients receiving oral steroids compared to placebo, both when presented as a mean final value (SMD -2.84, 95% CI -4.09 to -1.59, 22 participants) and as a change from baseline (SMD -2.28, 95% CI -2.76 to -1.80, 114 participants). These correspond to large effect sizes but we assessed the evidence to be low quality. One study (114 participants) followed patients for 10 weeks after the two-week treatment period. All patients in both arms received intranasal steroids at the end of the oral steroid treatment period. The results showed that the initial results after treatment were not sustained (SMD -0.22, 95% CI -0.59 to 0.15, 114 participants, percentage improvement from baseline). This corresponds to a small effect size and we assessed the evidence to be low quality. There was an increase in adverse events in people receiving orals steroids compared with placebo for gastrointestinal disturbances (risk ratio (RR) 3.45, 95% CI 1.11 to 10.78; 187 participants; three studies) and insomnia (RR 3.63, 95% CI 1.10 to 11.95; 187 participants; three studies). There was no significant impact of oral steroids on mood disturbances at the dosage used in the included study (risk ratio (RR) 2.50, 95% CI 0.55 to 11.41; 40 participants; one study). We assessed the evidence to be low quality due to the lack of definitions of the adverse events and the small number of events or sample size, or both). Other comparisons No studies that compared short-course oral steroids with other treatment for chronic rhinosinusitis met the inclusion criteria. Authors' conclusions: At the end of the treatment course (two to three weeks) there is an improvement in health-related quality of life and symptom severity in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps taking oral corticosteroids compared with placebo or no treatment. The quality of the evidence supporting this finding is low. At three to six months after the end of the oral steroid treatment period, there is little or no improvement in health-related quality of life or symptom severity for patients taking an initial course of oral steroids compared with placebo or no treatment. The data on the adverse effects associated with short courses of oral corticosteroids indicate that there may be an increase in insomnia and gastrointestinal disturbances but it is not clear whether there is an increase in mood disturbances. All of the adverse events results are based on low quality evidence. More research in this area, particularly research evaluating patients with chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyps, longer-term outcomes and adverse effects, is required. There is no evidence for oral steroids compared with other treatments. © 2016 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source


Chong L.Y.,Cochrane Center | Head K.,Cochrane Center | Philpott C.,University of East Anglia | Schilder A.G.M.,University College London | Burton M.J.,Cochrane Center
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews | Year: 2016

Background: This review is one of six looking at the primary medical management options for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Chronic rhinosinusitis is common and is characterised by inflammation of the lining of the nose and paranasal sinuses leading to nasal blockage, rhinorrhoea, facial pressure/pain and loss of sense of smell. The condition can occur with or without nasal polyps. The use of topical (intranasal) corticosteroids has been widely advocated for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis given the belief that inflammation is a major component of this condition. Objectives: To assess the effects of intranasal corticosteroids in people with chronic rhinosinusitis. Search methods: The Cochrane ENT Information Specialist searched the Cochrane ENT Trials Register; Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL 2015, Issue 8); MEDLINE; EMBASE; ClinicalTrials.gov; ICTRP and additional sources for published and unpublished trials. The date of the search was 11 August 2015. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with a follow-up period of at least three months comparing intranasal corticosteroids (e.g. beclomethasone dipropionate, triamcinolone acetonide, flunisolide, budesonide) against placebo or no treatment in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Data collection and analysis: We used the standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. Our primary outcomes were disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQL), patient-reported disease severity and the commonest adverse event - epistaxis. Secondary outcomes included general HRQL, endoscopic nasal polyp score, computerised tomography (CT) scan score and the adverse events of local irritation or other systemic adverse events. We used GRADE to assess the quality of the evidence for each outcome; this is indicated in italics. Main results: We included 18 RCTs with a total of 2738 participants. Fourteen studies had participants with nasal polyps and four studies had participants without nasal polyps. Only one study was conducted in children. Intranasal corticosteroids versus placebo or no intervention Only one study (20 adult participants without polyps) measured our primary outcome disease-specific HRQL using the Rhinosinusitis Outcome Measures-31 (RSOM-31). They reported no significant difference (numerical data not available) (very low quality evidence). Our second primary outcome, disease severity , was measured using the Chronic Sinusitis Survey in a second study (134 participants without polyps), which found no important difference (mean difference (MD) 2.84, 95% confidence interval (CI) -5.02 to 10.70; scale 0 to 100). Another study (chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps) reported an increased chance of improvement in the intranasal corticosteroids group (RR 2.78, 95% CI 1.76 to 4.40; 109 participants). The quality of the evidence was low. Six studies provided data on at least two of the individualsymptoms used in the EPOS 2012 criteria to define chronic rhinosinusitis (nasal blockage, rhinorrhoea, loss of sense of smell and facial pain/pressure). When all four symptoms in the EPOS criteria were available on a scale of 0 to 3 (higher = more severe symptoms), the average MD in change from baseline was -0.26 (95% CI -0.37 to -0.15; 243 participants; two studies; low quality evidence). Although there were more studies and participants when only nasal blockage and rhinorrhoea were considered (MD -0.31, 95% CI -0.38 to -0.24; 1702 participants; six studies), the MD was almost identical to when loss of sense of smell was also considered (1345 participants, four studies; moderate quality evidence). When considering the results for the individual symptoms, benefit was shown in the intranasal corticosteroids group. The effect size was larger for nasal blockage (MD -0.40, 95% CI -0.52 to -0.29; 1702 participants; six studies) than for rhinorrhoea (MD -0.25, 95% CI -0.33 to -0.17; 1702 participants; six studies) or loss of sense of smell (MD -0.19, 95% CI -0.28 to -0.11; 1345 participants; four studies). There was heterogeneity in the analysis for facial pain/pressure (MD -0.27, 95% CI -0.56 to 0.02; 243 participants; two studies). The quality of the evidence was moderate for nasal blockage, rhinorrhoea and loss of sense of smell, but low for facial pain/pressure. There was an increased risk of epistaxis with intranasal corticosteroids (risk ratio (RR) 2.74, 95% CI 1.88 to 4.00; 2508 participants; 13 studies; high quality evidence). Considering our secondary outcome, general HRQL, one study (134 participants without polyps) measured this using the SF-36 and reported a statistically significant benefit only on the general health subscale. The quality of the evidence was very low. It is unclear whether there is a difference in the risk of local irritation (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.53 to 1.64; 2124 participants; 11 studies) (low quality evidence). None of the studies treated or followed up patients long enough to provide meaningful data on the risk of osteoporosis or stunted growth (children). Other comparisons We identified no other studies that compared intranasal corticosteroids plus co-intervention A versus placebo plus co-intervention A. Authors' conclusions: Most of the evidence available was from studies in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. There is little information about quality of life (very low quality evidence). For disease severity, there seems to be improvement for all symptoms (low quality evidence), a moderate-sized benefit for nasal blockage and a small benefit for rhinorrhoea (moderate quality evidence). The risk of epistaxis is increased (high quality evidence), but these data included all levels of severity; small streaks of blood may not be a major concern for patients. It is unclear whether there is a difference in the risk of local irritation (low quality evidence). © 2016 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source


Chong L.Y.,Cochrane Center | Head K.,Cochrane Center | Philpott C.,University of East Anglia | Burton M.J.,Cochrane Center | Schilder A.G.M.,University College London
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews | Year: 2016

Background: This review is one of six looking at the primary medical management options for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. Chronic rhinosinusitis is common and is characterised by inflammation of the lining of the nose and paranasal sinuses leading to nasal blockage, nasal discharge, facial pressure/pain and loss of sense of smell. The condition can occur with or without nasal polyps. Topical (intranasal) corticosteroids are used with the aim of reducing inflammation in the sinonasal mucosa in order to improve patient symptoms. Objectives: To assess the effects of different types of intranasal steroids in people with chronic rhinosinusitis. Search methods: The Cochrane ENT Information Specialist searched the ENT Trials Register; Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL 2015, Issue 7); MEDLINE; EMBASE; ClinicalTrials.gov; ICTRP and additional sources for published and unpublished trials. The date of the search was 11 August 2015. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with a follow-up period of at least three months comparing first-generation intranasal corticosteroids (e.g. beclomethasone dipropionate, triamcinolone acetonide, flunisolide, budesonide) with second-generation intranasal corticosteroids (e.g. ciclesonide, fluticasone furoate, fluticasone propionate, mometasone furoate, betamethasone sodium phosphate), or sprays versus drops, or low-dose versus high-dose intranasal corticosteroids. Data collection and analysis: We used the standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. Our primary outcomes were disease-specific health-related quality of life (HRQL), patient-reported disease severity and the commonest adverse event - epistaxis (nosebleed). Secondary outcomes included general HRQL, endoscopic nasal polyp score, computerised tomography (CT) scan score and the adverse event of local irritation. We used GRADE to assess the quality of the evidence for each outcome; this is indicated in italics. Main results: We included nine RCTs (911 participants), including four different comparisons. None of the studies evaluated our first primary outcome measure, disease-specific HRQL. Fluticasone propionate versus beclomethasone dipropionate We identified two small studies (56 participants with polyps) that evaluated disease severity and looked at the primary adverse effect: epistaxis , but no other outcomes. We cannot report any numerical data but the study authors reported no difference between the two steroids. The evidence was of very low quality. Fluticasone propionate versus mometasone furoate We identified only one study (100 participants with polyps) that evaluated disease severity (nasal symptoms scores), which reported no difference (no numerical data available). The evidence was of very low quality. High-dose versus low-dose steroids We included five studies (663 participants with nasal polyps), three using mometasone furoate (400 μg versus 200 μg in adults and older children, 200 μg versus 100 μg in younger children) and two using fluticasone propionate drops (800 μg versus 400 μg). We found low quality evidence relating to disease severity and nasal polyps size, with results from the high-dose and low-dose groups being similar. Although all studies reported more improvement in polyp score in the high-dose group, the significance of this is unclear due to the small size of the improvements. The primary adverse effect, epistaxis , was more common when higher doses were used (risk ratio (RR) 2.06, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.20 to 3.54, 637 participants, moderate quality evidence). Most of the studies that contributed data to this outcome used a broad definition of epistaxis, which ranged from frank bleeding to bloody nasal discharge to flecks of blood in the mucus. Aqueous nasal spray versus aerosol spray We identified only one poorly reported study (unclear number of participants for comparison of interest, 91 between three treatment arms), in which there were significant baseline differences between the participants in the two groups. We were unable to draw meaningful conclusions from the data. Authors' conclusions: We found insufficient evidence to suggest that one type of intranasal steroid is more effective than another in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis, nor that the effectiveness of a spray differs from an aerosol. We identified no studies that compared drops with spray. It is unclear if higher doses result in better symptom improvements (low quality evidence), but there was moderate quality evidence of an increased risk of epistaxis as an adverse effect of treatment when higher doses were used. This included all levels of severity of epistaxis and it is likely that the proportion of events that required patients to discontinue usage is low due to the low numbers of withdrawals attributed to it. If epistaxis is limited to streaks of blood in the mucus it may be tolerated by the patient and it may be safe to continue treatment. However, it may be a factor that affects compliance. There is insufficient evidence to suggest that the different types of corticosteroid molecule or spray versus aerosol have different effects. Lower doses have similar effectiveness but fewer side effects. Clearly more research in this area is needed, with specific attention given to trial design, disease-specific health-related quality of life outcomes and evaluation of longer-term outcomes and adverse effects. © 2016 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

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